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Misinforming Salons

Tamara Forrest-Smith


One of the biggest threats facing salon owners like yourself is misinformation.

And it’s rampant.

Recently after a working at Pro Salon Live and listening to thousands of salon owners and a handful of experts I have to say your salon is in danger because I have never heard so much bullshit in my life on how to get your salon busy. Salon marketing has now become another way to sell you a ton of stuff that won’t work and you’ll never need.

The root cause of salon misinformation.

In the year 2000 I had mastered Search Engine listings for my website Hairee.com (now salon punk). If you typed in the words

Hair salon marketing or Salon Marketing or phrase like that at that time I was the only one online doing it. Type it in today and you will be offer 2.5 million websites to choose from.

Some will say more is good.

Others will say too much choice is just too much choice.

Others will ask how the hell do you find what you are looking for out of 2.5 million websites all saying the same things.

This should help you but let’s understand a couple of things first.

I started my own hairdressing salons in 1989. I had to write adverts to get sales in my salon. So it was practice and trying a lot of different things. I soon found out what did and would never work.

It started to work. By 1991 not only were we No.1 in a town of 35 salons I had faced just about every salon problem you can ever dream about.

By 2001 not only did I have three salons that were mad busy, no.1 and packed day in, day out I had also been invited to places as far as Japan and Australia to teach other salon owners.

Today I am of course still working with salons like yourselves but I have seen just about everything in this business. I’ve seen all the failures and a ton of successes.

Yet I can count on both hands the brilliant salon experts I would share admiration with.

So that raises a real issue for you as someone that needs help and advice with their salon marketing and management because I have seen a problem rise to a level where it is now absolutely out of hand.

Here is the problem.

In the past, a client would come to me for salon consulting, business and help with more clients into their businesses. I was usually the very first port of call. That is no longer the case.

When a client calls me he has usually tried 2,3 4 or many more ‘salon experts’ before he gets to me. That same client has also usually spent a small fortune to those ‘salon experts’ so that when he finally gets his invoice from myself he has spent not just 5 times more than he used to spend but has lost a fortune in time and lost sales.


So the web has created a huge problem for you and it is this.

We have seen the rise of the salon guru, the rise of the salon expert and the rise of those that claim to know everything but simply outsource what you need to someone across the world hoping you will never notice.

I know in my own case I have had to threaten one salon expert in Scotland, one in Australia and a few others after they simply copied and pasted my salon marketing materials into eBooks and sold it with my name removed and their name added.

And there is an even bigger problem.

How do they get their education and expertise?

A huge majority love the idea of being a recognised salon expert. They read a book, read another book and then rather than have real experience they simply sell what they have read. Now some might say I also read books and became an expert doing just that.

That isn’t quite true.

I have been advising and creating salon business and salon marketing solutions and results since 1989. I have tried, tested and can confidently say that I absolutely know what will not work which also means I know what will work for you. Because I have sent out tons of salon marketing, I have had to get myself busy time and time again. I have had too give my clients results time and time again. So what I share with my salon marketing clients isn’t jus ta book its real experience from real business as well as recognised expertise.

But Alan these guys are so cheap compared to someone like yourself?

Listen cheap medicine is cheap but I wouldn’t take it would you? As I said earlier most clients that now come to me have usually failed with maybe five ‘salon experts’ already. That isn’t the fault of you the client that is the sole responsibility of the person that faked their way into your bank balance.

Now there is one more problem and this is huge. A book that an ‘expert’ will use will tell them a system or a way of doing things. In my experience that cannot work and here is why.

Every salon business is unique. Every target marketplace is unique. Every salon business has its voice that should be maintained or created. Every buyer has a way of thinking that buyers from other salon business don’t think. You cannot learn that from a book. You have to test things, experience things, try things until you get the mix right.

But when you work with an expert that has already worked in 400 industries over a 31 year period, worked with the UKs’ top salons you know at least they must know what they are doing otherwise they would have been out of business a long time ago.

So the following is a list of things that will help you for sure weed out the salon guru imposters that earn a living misinforming and destroying salon business like yours.

Visit Salon Extreme 21 – The Ultimate Salon Marketing Guide

Misinforming Salons

Here is a checklist in no particular order of what I would personally look for in a consultant and what you should look for. The list is in no particular order. Tick each one off as you discover the answer.

  • Have they owned a salon?
  • Have they managed a salon?
  • Can they offer you past results?
  • Do they seem in it just for your money?
  • Do they feel honest?
  • Do they feel ethical?
  • Are they service driven?
  • Do they have lots of proof as an expert?
  • Good strong traceable testimonials?
  • Years in salon business?
  • Salon marketing skill set and how they got their skill sets?
  • Can they show you a salon marketing client list?
  • What kind of big promises do they make and are they possible?
  • Guarantees if any?
  • Years in business?
  • Are they just a sale rep promising you so you buy from them?
  • Comparable results with your business?
  • Impressive stats?
  • Friendly?
  • Accessible?
  • Support?
  • Do they understand salon data?
  • Have they direct mail experience in salons?
  • Do they understand copy to core message sequencing?
  • Can they explain triggering?
  • How do they feel about ‘memes’?
  • Do they have their own REAL business – in other words not just selling expertise but experience?
  • Do they know what leverage is?
  • Do they understand innovation and when to innovate?
  • How many years experience online and can they show results?
  • How do they feel about old vs. new media?
  • Why is their fee set the way it is set?
  • Are they open to any other form of payment?
  • Can they give a time frame on results?
  • Can you see yourself working for them as a long term relationship?

Misinformation is a real problem now that is going to get worse.

And play around with any questions you feel you deserve an answer to before anything is started.

Once you decide whom you would like to work with do this.

Make an initial enquiry and see how you FEEL about the response from the salon consultant.

How was the email written? How did your phone call go? Do they sound as though they know what they are talking about?

The feeling you get will reveal more than the actual response.

Once you feel good about dealing with them make sure you have your list of pre-written questions and be very blunt when asking them … “do you have the answer to this question?”

How much should you pay them per hour? Personally, I wouldn’t care as long as the return on investment is worth the payment. I have bought books and spend months learning from them. The books have made me tens of thousands in sales but it has also taken me months and months to learn the new skill. Today I simply pay for the information to be fast tracked into new sales.

It really depends on how much you value your time?

So ask yourself is the fee worth the solution and what will the solution be giving you? Sometimes it isn’t sales it can be the savings!

I had a client invest £5,000 for a full day of consulting. After just 3-hours he left and told me this before he left.

“The time with you has been worth every penny. You made me realize how much time and money I am wasting on this business. After today I will sell it or simply close it and move on.”

Today that client is a multi-millionaire with his new businesses and has happily closed the business that was creating so many problems for him.

The payment he paid for a full day based on my hourly rate may have sounded huge to some but to him he based it on the long-term results it was worth.

So be careful and be wise as a salon owner because this industry has become so packed with bullshitters if they get inside your salon business it could cause major problems and even closure for you.

I hope this helps and if it does leave a comment.

Peace, love and salon success.


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